Waiting for wood on Google TV

Innovation Google said yesterday that it will begin winding down Google Labs, the in-house incubator and beta-testing web site that birthed Google Maps, Google Reader and other popular services. In a blog post announcing the move, SVP of research Bill Coughran linked the decision to a broader strategy unveiled by CEO Larry Page in Google’s Q2 earnings call last week to streamline the company’s operations and bring more focus to fewer product categories.

“Greater focus has also been another big feature for me this quarter–more wood behind fewer arrows,” Page said. “Last month, for example, we announced that we will be closing Google Health and Google PowerMeter. We’ve also done substantial internal work simplifying and streamlining our product lines.” Read More »

3D still a gimmick

3D In the 1950s, 3D cinema was supposed to save moviegoing from the ravages of newfangled television techology. But it turned out to be a classic gimmick: a technological response to what was really a market problem. Consumers weren’t choosing TV over the movies because movies lacked spectacle; they chose it because it filled the need for casual entertainment in the convenience of their living room. If moviegoing was to compete with television it would have to be with more compelling product, not more spectacle. Read More »

The iCloud will not be televised

Digital Living Room The Apple TV cheese stands alone. For all the nifty new functionality built into iOS 5 and Apple’s new multi-device iCloud platform it appears that very little of it will find its way into Apple TV. About the only new reindeer game Apple TV will get to join in for now is Photo Stream, which automatically syncs and downloads your photos to all your registered iOS devices, including the Apple TV set-top. For everything else — including your own home videos — Apple TV is on the outside of the iCloud looking in.

I’m starting to believe Steve Jobs when he describes Apple TV as a hobby, rather than as a strategic business for Apple. Read More »

Media Sans Frontières

Licensing Before content owners get too excited about the possibility of mandatory Internet content filtering coming to Europe, highlighted in a Reuters story Monday based on leaked portions of a pending European Commission report on intellectual property rights, they might want to read through the full document now that it’s available on the EC website.

Any action that could involve stepped up enforcement of copyrights online by Internet service providers referenced in the report would be limited for now to studying “ways to create a framework allowing, in particular, combating infringements of IPR via the internet more effectively.” Any formal proposals to emerge from that studying,  moreover, which won’t even begin until 2012, will “not alter the existing rules on limited liability for certain types of ISP activities,” according to FAQ provided by the commission. Read More »

Do as I say, not as I do

Copyright National governments must operate in several different domains at once, both domestic and international. To expect absolute consistency in its positions across all of those domains is to misapprehend the role and process of government. Yet for all that, the contrast between current efforts in Congress to block U.S. citizens’ access to certain “rogue” web sites, and those of the U.S. State Department to help citizens of China to circumvent efforts by the Chinese government to block its citizens access to certain web sites, is striking. Read More »